TV host and news anchor Karen Davila took to Instagram to express “absolute deep joy” for son David, a child with autism, who graduated from Grade 8 on March 18.
Davila, host of ANC’s “Headstart” posted a photo of her with son during his commencement exercises with caption:
“PROUD OF YOU DAVID What an emotional and truly proud moment to see David graduating Grade 8 today and move into high school next year!! Looking back at David’s journey, when he was first diagnosed as being in the Autism Spectrum at 3, there are no words except to be overwhelmed with absolute deep joy that at 14, he has bloomed to be such a caring, kind and joyful boy, present in every moment. When subjects were hard, David always pushed himself – with the help of his home room & subject teachers, tutor – Teacher Maia, Yaya Myrna, just to keep on going! You keep surprising us and showing us what FAITH truly is ️ God truly walks before you my love! Daddy @djstaana, Lucas & I love you dearly You make me CRY David – always! ️ Love you anak! #mar192016 #davidandlucas #happygraduationdavid
Davila’s followers sent their congratulatory messages to her thru IG, among them:
How inspiring ms. @iamkarendavila ! I work with children on the autism spectrum… thank you for sharing. KUDOS!
Bravo!!! I am a mother of a 9 year old autistic boy, and every year my son receive an award as the most improve student in his class!! With faith in God everything is possible! God bless you Miss Karen and your family.️️️
Im a sped teacher and i wish to see my students to be like David someday. God bless you David. Soar high and continue to make your mom proud! 🙂
David, 14, is son of Davila and DJ Sta. Ana of ABS-CBN News.
Davila’s son was 3½ years old when he was diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Not Otherwise Specified (PDD/NOS) in the Autism Spectrum, a severe form of autism.
In a previous interview with columnist Wilson Lee Flores, the “Bandila” news anchor was quoted to have said, “I thought my world was going to crumble, I was devastated, I cried endlessly, it was so painful and I blamed myself. But my inner resolve got the better of me; instead of being defeated, I researched heavily, coordinated with many parents and opened myself to many treatments for my son.”
Davila, whose resolve was not weakened despite difficulties of raising a child with autism, resorted to stem cell therapy for David in 2013.
The National Council on Disability Affairs defines autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) as “a lifelong development disability that manifests itself during the first three years of life and results from neurological disorder that affects the functioning of the brain, mostly affecting children in many countries irrespective of gender, race of socio-economic status, and characterized by impairments in social interaction, problems with verbal and non-verbal communications and restricted, repetitive behavior, interests and activities.”
According to Erlinda Borromeo, Autism Speaks Foundation president one in 68 children worldwide has autism based on 2014 figures.